Was born in Poland to Jewish parents, survived the holocaust and came to Melbourne from France in 1949. He had trained as a fitter and turner and settled in Hawthorn, finding work as a maintenance man at General Motors Holden. In 1955, through his first wife Stella who was a full-time painter and later migrated to Israel with their son, he became a member of Clifton Pugh’s Dunmoochin Artists’ Collective at Cottles Bridge and bought a bush block there. (The house designed and built for him by Maurice shaw in c.1967 is now listed in the Victorian Heritage Database for its modernist style combined with the use of mud bricks and recycled materials.) After trying to become a professional guitar player, then a painter, he took up pottery in 1970, inspired by the community of potters who had come to live and work at Dunmoochin in the 1960s. (He met his second wife Ruth in 1968 when she was taking classes with Robert Mair.) Over time, Saper became known as the Dunmoochin potter because of his landmark stall at the St Andrews Market where he displayed his striking colourful work on hessian bags. After his death in April 2005, a retrospective display of work collected by friends was held at the Nillumbik Council Offices. His mark is an incised ‘L. Saper’. Copyright 2021 Australian Pottery at Bemboka
Leon Saper (1928-2005)
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